Sunday 29 March 2020

Shaikh Khalid and Al Musallam

Gulf Air cuts losses by 32.8pc to $165m

MANAMA, September 16, 2015

Gulf Air, Bahrain’s national carrier, posted its strongest financial results in a decade during 2014, reducing its annual losses from BD93.3 million ($245.759 million) in 2013 to BD62.7 million ($165.156 million) in 2014, which works out to a 32.8 per cent reduction.

Gulf Air witnessed a 15.4 per cent rise in total revenue passengers during the year, it said.

The positive results were achieved as the airline continued to strategically shift from low-value transit traffic through Bahrain to high-yield, high-demand, point-to-point routes focused largely on the Mena region. In tandem it also better utilized its existing assets to push the business forward, Gulf Air said.

Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister and chairman of Gulf Air’s Board of Directors, said: “Gulf Air’s 2014 performance reflects a steady and continued improvement in its financial and operational business with targeted efforts to maintaining the airline’s strategic direction that ultimately encouraged solid customer growth, enhanced global bookings and a resultant marked improvement in financial and operational results – all over the previous year and with the support and direction received across both the operational and administrative level.”

In line with the ongoing holistic strategy implemented since Gulf Air’s 2013 restructuring, the national carrier’s financial trajectory remains on a positive upswing reflected by its consistently falling losses as the airline moves closer to achieving full commercial sustainability, it said.

On the network front, 2014 saw Gulf Air maintain its leadership position in the Middle East by operating one of the largest regional networks while extending its global links to 41 destinations by the end of 2014.

Gulf Air launched six destinations in the year to Europe, the Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East. This was further enhanced by schedule adjustments with increased frequencies to various destinations across its network.

Strategically utilising its fleet capability to cater to the airline’s growing capacity and network requirements, Gulf Air’s 28-strong all-Airbus wide and narrow body fleet of predominantly new aircraft underwent specific, targeted enhancements that were completed by the end of 2014, the airline said.

Gulf Air Acting Chief Executive Officer Maher Salman Al Musallam said: “We are moving strategically forward, making changes to Bahrain’s national carrier that are not only positive in the short term but that form part of our greater long term strategy towards transforming the airline across many fronts. Reducing our budget requirement doesn’t just involve cutting costs and saving money, it involves a strategic 360 assessment of our business that includes looking into how we can best nurture and develop our operations, technical capabilities, network, fleet, product, workforce, customers and more. We are working towards all of this and I am delighted with our progress to date,” said Al Musallam.

Operationally, 2014 saw Gulf Air’s on-time-punctuality results position the airline as one of the global leaders in punctuality, with an average annual on-time-performance of 89 per cent.

Operating one of the largest regional networks with double daily flights to over 10 cities, Gulf Air’s record punctuality facilitates its seamless operations across its network, it said.

Al Musallam said: “Our 2014 results were promising and trends are favourable. Most crucially, we are now, more than ever, embracing our role as a key national infrastructure asset providing critical business links which are important for the Kingdom of Bahrain’s wider economic development.

“Gulf Air’s strategy today is one that not only supports and strengthens the national carrier but that of the community and economy in which we are entrenched – our future vision extends well beyond 2015 to ensure the longevity of this airline and its role in driving value to Bahrain and the industry as a whole.

“Our success to date in realising the positive turnaround of Gulf Air over the past two years gives me great confidence in our 2015 results. Perceptions of our national carrier are changing and confidence is boosted both internally and externally – I am delighted with our achievements to date as we serve the airline industry, our greater community and the Kingdom of Bahrain.” – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Gulf | Losses | cut | Air |

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